Gardenia is a genus of flowering shrubs native to Africa, Asia and Australia. Due to the tropical climate of their natural habitats, they can be difficult to grow in more temperate regions. Gardenias can grow up to 40 feet in height and typically produce white or yellow clusters of flowers. Gardenia flowers bloom in spring and summer, and produce a strong scent which attracts bees and hummingbirds.
Plant gardenias in a location with a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Ensure the location receives between four and six hours of direct sunlight each day.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Water gardenia flowers at least once per week, or anytime the soil has dried out completely. Do not water the foliage of the plant or fungal diseases could occur.
Feed gardenia flowers using a 15-5-10 NPK fertilizer twice per year in the months of May and August. Use fish emulsion to encourage additional growth of the gardenia flowers. Use the instructions on the package for the proper application and dosage of fertilizer and fish emulsion.
Use a spray bottle to mist the foliage of gardenia flowers twice weekly in the early morning, so the sun will be able to evaporate any additional moisture. Spread one to two inches of mulch on the soil around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and reduce the growth of weeds.
Remove all dead or dying branches and flowers from gardenia plants as soon as possible to conserve nutrients. This will also allow more air circulation into the inner portion of the plant, reducing the chance for disease.
Things You Will Need
- Fish emulsion
- Spray bottle
- Pruning shears
- Gardenias can't survive temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They should be transplanted into a container and moved inside if such weather arises.
- Potting soil made specifically for gardenias is available in well-stocked lawn and garden retail stores, and should be used whenever possible.
- Many different types of mulch can be used, but shredded cedar is recommended because it also repels pests.
- Gardenia bushes are best grown from containers because they are often not able to survive winter in non-tropical regions.